Growing up I was often told “silence is golden.” I was told this often because, well, I couldn’t stop talking. Now I’m told that silence is something else….
First, let me say that, a fool is thought wise until he speaks. Secondly, Pro. 18:13 says, “He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame;” so it seems to me that silence is good, especially if I am listening. Thirdly, James 1:19–20 proclaims: “My dear brothers & sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” By saying this, he reinforces that we should best listen first before engaging in any shouting match. Lastly, Edmond Burke warns: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” And perhaps we can restate this, “…that good people say nothing.”
So, do we remain silent or do we speak? If we speak, what do we say? Jesus remained silent before His accusers and yet said at His Last Passover: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.” This leads me to say what Ecclesiastes 3:7b says: There is “a time to be silent and a time to speak.”
If we are to speak, perhaps we can take a cue from what our Lord Jesus spoke as He inaugurated His earthly ministry quoting the Prophet Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor” (Isaiah 61:1–2 NIV84).
Will you join me in seeking the Lord Jesus’ face, listening to His voice, and remaining silent if He so leads, ah, but speaking if He so leads; and most definitely speaking in Love?